Artist Profile: Barbara Scott on her photographic exhibition Country

We recently chatted with Gilgandra photographer Barbara Scott about her creative practice, inspirations and her new exhibition Country, now on display at the Gilgandra Art Gallery.

How did you first get into photography and what draws you to the medium? 

What draws me to photography is being able to be creative to produce something I enjoy. I first became interested in photography when I was given an instamatic camera by my parents when I was about 12. I knew I enjoyed taking photos and over the years discovered I wasn’t too bad. In 2010 I had burnout and it was recommended to me to do something on a regular basis that nurtured my soul. I did some courses in photography and was selected to exhibit in the student exhibition at The Australian Centre for Photography. 

 Photographer Barbara Scott

Photographer Barbara Scott

Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking and photography?

Ken Duncan has been a big influencer as I’ve met him personally and have heard the stories behind some of his photos. He is very patient — more patient than I am — knows what he wants to capture and will wait for the right moment. Ken says that the hardest thing about photography is ‘getting out of bed,’ i.e. getting up in the morning to photograph, or just pushing yourself to go for that drive. This comment has influenced me greatly and has encouraged me to ‘just do it.’

My dad enjoyed photography and he encouraged me to make it my hobby. Tony Hewitt is another photographer who inspires me. He encourages photographers to find their own style and to be themselves, creating their own unique images. I love his work and enjoy his uniqueness.

Exactly what it is you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?

For me, if the photograph makes my heart sing, that’s enough. If it makes someone else’s heart sing, that’s an added blessing.  

Sometimes photographs have a story; other times I just enjoy the overall composition. Most photos that have a story will talk about issues of life. For example: I photographed an old rusted ute at sunset. I called this image ‘Retired.’ The story for me is about looking after your body while you are young so you can enjoy your retirement. Some photographs just ‘happen’ and others have to be carefully constructed.

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What do you find inspiring about the Gilgandra region — what motivates you to capture the country in this way?

I enjoy seeing life on farms: the cattle and sheep, the woodsheds, the crops and the people. The river and creeks, even when they are not flowing, provide inspiration. Forests and windmills, the bush and old dead trees also provide inspiration. The light and the clouds motivate me to take a drive and see what I can find. Having someone to ‘shoot’ with also provides motivation. I have a good friend I go out with often. 

What does this collection of images — Country — mean to you? 

They are a collection of my photography over the past three years. This is my artist statement:

Over the past few years I have been taking photographs around Gilgandra. My hope is that most of these photos will connect you to something you’ve seen or experienced in our local area. (A couple of favourite shots from Kakadu National Park are in the mix!)

Having grown up in Gilgandra and returned now forty years later, I am seeing the beauty of Gilgandra through fresh eyes. In 2016, the Castlereagh River at sunrise after rain, this year the land in drought, a closer look at sheep and cattle, and the pine trees that blow in Spring. 

After reading some articles on photographing concrete, I visited the silos on Warren Road and some walls in our main street. This led me to discovering other abstract options around town. 

Beautiful clouds can come up over our town and I’ve endeavoured to show you some variations of these. However, not all clouds bring rain!

Photography is my hobby and the way I have been nurturing myself after experiencing burnout. I enjoy creating images that make my heart sing. I hope they make your heart sing too!

The Country Photographic Exhibition by Barbara Scott is on at the Gilgandra Art Gallery at the Coo-ee Heritage and Visitor Information Centre, 9am–5pm from 12 September to 28 October.

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Meet our new Cultural Projects Officer

Thanks to Creative Koori funding through Create NSW, Orana Arts has been able to employ Danielle Andrews to work with our ATSIA Programs Manager Paris Norton on the CETA program and other projects. Danielle is a Gamilaroi woman who grew up in Coonabarabran and is now based in Dubbo. Danielle shares a bit about herself below.

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My journey in the arts started when I was 10 years old with learning to play the clarinet and violin. In high school I discovered my love for musical theatre, performing in three school productions. From here I knew I wanted a career in the arts, so I attended Charles Sturt University to study a Bachelor of Communications for Theatre/Media. During my time studying I gained knowledge in a number of different theatre styles and roles. Roles I worked in included: hair/makeup design, costume design, set design, musical directing, stage management, dramaturgy, AV design, and even performance. Furthermore, I have been dancing since the age of three which provided me with the skills necessary to gain work with an indigenous Dance company from Armidale, which then gave me the tools needed to create my own dance troupe of young girls in my local community of Coonabarabran. The dance group specialised in Traditional Dance and performed at many formal events throughout the community. 

My proudest professional moment so far has been landing the role of cultural projects officer here at Orana Arts. I’m ecstatic to know within this position I will have the opportunity to stay connected with all the communities involved, continue to develop my artistic skills, and assist in creating opportunities for rural communities to express their own artistic stories.

Growing up in rural Australia I understand how artistic forms and styles can seem difficult to access. I remember having to travel to Sydney on a regular basis just to experience theatre or exhibitions. I am excited to know that I am part of an organisation that endeavours to create opportunities for regional communities to not only experience different styles of art but also allow the community to learn how to create their own masterpieces.  

The last production I went to see was Cosi, a comedy by Louis Nowra performed by the school of communication and creative industries and cycle productions in Bathurst. The show takes place in a psychiatric hospital where a young Australian director tries to create an adaption of the Mozart opera ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ with patients in the hospital. The performance was hilarious and I was blown away by the overall aesthetic of the show. 

Special Event: A Little Piece of Heaven

A Little Piece of Heaven is the story of Auntie Ruth and Uncle Dick Carney, elders of the Narromine community. The couple tell their story in their own words, delivering a truly extraordinary untold tale of Aboriginal life in country NSW through the twentieth century.

From humble beginnings on a campsite near Warren, the story moves through the western shearing sheds and the dances where Dick faces rejection and finds acceptance, to Narromine, where the shearer finds a home, a community, and enduring love. In 55 years of marriage, Dick and Ruth Carney have been through loss and triumph, learned and grown together, and built a life that is a testament to their endurance, generosity, and love. 

Two shows only:

Friday 27 July
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Narromine United Services and Memorial Club
Narromine
Tickets here.

Sunday 29 July
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Black Box Theatre
Western Plains Cultural Centre
Dubbo
Tickets here.

This performance is presented with support from Create NSW and the Western Plains Cultural Centre.

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Join our team!

Position available: Cultural Projects Officer

Are you passionate about Indigenous arts? Do you want to contribute to and support regional creative communities? Orana Arts is seeking applications for a part-time (21 hours a week) Cultural Projects Officer to assist the ATSIA Programs Manager in delivering Aboriginal arts programs across the Orana region.

Position Description
You will be assisting with wide-ranging activities including contributing to ATSIA programs plans and strategies; community liaison and consultation; project support and development; managing creative performances and exhibitions; communications and marketing; and facilitating workshops across various locations.

The Cultural Projects Officer will be required to:

  • assist in the development of partnerships, opportunities, programs and projects with creatives, organisations and community groups to enhance creative skills, practice and knowledge
  • assist in facilitating arts workshops across the Orana region
  • develop databases for community access
  • assist in ATSIA programs communications

Skills and Experience
The successful candidate will:

  • be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage
  • have a keen interest in regional Aboriginal Arts and culture
  • have a demonstrated capacity to contribute to the development and implementation of an Aboriginal Arts and Culture projects and team
  • hold an Employee Working with Children Check (mandatory)
  • be prepared to undertake an Australian Criminal History Check (mandatory)
  • hold a current NSW Driver’s Licence (mandatory) and be willing to travel
  • be motivated and reliable

Please submit your application, including a cover letter and resumé, by 5pm, Monday 16 July 2018. To speak with someone about this exciting opportunity, please contact:

Paris Norton
ASTIA Programs Manager
0409 245 020
aado@oranaarts.com

Please note: you must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident to apply for this position. This role as been funded by Create NSW from the Creative Koori initiative and is a six month contract position.

  Students creating their own stamp designs at a recent Carved Up workshop in Trangie. 

Students creating their own stamp designs at a recent Carved Up workshop in Trangie. 

Cementa: Workshop Roadshow

This week Cementa Inc. launches the Workshop Roadshow initiative with three workshops by new media artist Michael Petchkovsky.  The workshops will engage distance education students in Dubbo and primary and high school students in Wellington with how to make art out of discarded technologies. Michael uses redundant technologies such as old video cameras, oscilloscopes and tv monitors to create unusual sound and visual patterns that are then made into video and audio artworks.  The students will be learning about the history of this artform and then trying their hands at making their own audio video artworks.

Workshop Roadshow was conceived by Cementa Creative Director Alex Wisser as a way of giving youth in regional NSW a taste of contemporary art that they normally would not have access to.  The program will deliver 20 contemporary art workshops to schools and youth organisations across regional NSW.

Alex is excited to finally begin the program: 'Having moved into the regions five years ago, one of the things I noticed was how difficult it was for regional schools to access the art culture that is sometimes taken for granted in the cities. Some amazing things are happening artistically in Australia, and it’s just not fair that regional kids often miss out because it’s difficult to get that art into the smaller towns and schools. It occurred to me that we at Cementa bring up to 30 artists a year into the regions to make work in preparation for the festival and this might be a resource we can tap into to make contemporary art more accessible in the regions. It’s great to see the idea finally coming to life.'

Workshop Roadshow is generously funded by Dlux Media Arts and Sydney Mechanics School of Art and is supported by Orana Arts.

For more information contact Alex Wisser: 0413 555 860 awisser@cementa.com.au

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ARTS 2025 Regional NSW Sessions

You are invited to join Create NSW for one of two sector engagement and information sessions taking place in our region:

Coonabarabran
Monday 28 May, 2–4pm
Community Services Meeting Room

Dubbo
Wednesday 30 May, 2–4pm
Drama Room, Community Arts Centre

These sessions are a chance to have your say about art and culture in our region and to discuss your own plans and projects with Create NSW representatives.
RSVP to communications@oranaarts.com by Thursday 24 May.  

 

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Meet the New Orana Arts Board

Orana Arts is pleased to announce a new board structure and the election of a new executive. As part of our strategic plan, Orana Arts has been working towards a new structure which will maximise skills and allow us to host cultural forums in communities across our region, so that everyone gets a say in arts and culture in the Orana Region. 

Chairperson
Anne-Louise Capel

Anne-Louise has a Bachelor of Business and volunteers for community groups including the Coolah District Development Group. She has an agricultural background and is a Warrumbungle Shire Council Councillor. In her second term as Chairperson, Anne-Louise continues to value preserving and enhancing a strong sense of community and communication across the region, as well as working collaboratively to implement the Orana Arts Strategic Plan in a timely and fiscally responsible manner.

Deputy Chairperson
Virginia Handmer

Virginia has extensive local government and community services experience, having worked across art forms and in youth engagement for many years. She is an artist and curator at Number 47 Gallery in Rylstone and has a strong track record of volunteering for community cultural events. Virginia lends her expertise to cultural committees, including the Rylstone Sculptures Inc, Mudgee Readers’ Festival and the MWRC Cultural Development Committee. 

Secretary
Danielle Littlewood

Danielle is the Marketing and Events Manager for Zest Events. She brings a range of experience working in community engagement, event planning and project management to the Orana Arts board. Danielle has a sound track record in client and event management, customer service, stakeholder facilitation and community empowerment obtained through her previous roles as Regional Landcare Facilitator for Central Western NSW, Environmental Consultant with GHD Pty Ltd, and Catchment Officer with the Lachlan CMA. Danielle has an eye for detail, an understanding of community engagement and a strong sustainability ethos.

Treasurer
Jessica Moore

Jessica has had a significant career in the arts for close to 20 years, including working in Council Cultural and Public Arts Development units, regional galleries, TAFE and the commercial arts sector. Currently employed as the Collections Officer at the Western Plains Cultural Centre, she has also previously been a committee member of the Dubbo and Districts Australian and Decorative Arts Society and a founding member of the Dream Festival. She remains an active and committed contributor to a number of ongoing cultural projects and initiatives in the Orana region.

The Orana Arts Executive wishes to thank the outgoing board members for their services. The new board looks forward to supporting the exciting strategic plans for the organisation, including cultural forums across communities in the Orana Region. 

For any questions about the Orana Arts board or constitution, please contact Alicia Leggett: rado@oranaarts.com

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Announcing Soup Sessions: Winter 2018

Soup Sessions: micro-funding for community projects.

Creatives
Bring your 5 minute project pitch. Sell the audience on your idea and answer questions over dinner. If you receive the most votes you take home the proceeds (less costs) and any donations made on the night.

Audience
You have the power! Entry fee of $15 includes a bowl of hot soup, bread roll and one vote. Support your local creative community and choose which project gets the funds.
 
Soup Sessions are a fun way to network and raise money for your creative project. This year we will be running three Soup Sessions across the region, in collaboration with local community groups. Start coming up with your project pitches for:

Mudgee: 14 June at The Stables
(youth soup session, pitches from creatives 12—25 years)
Coonabarabran: 26 July at Coonabarabran Town Hall
Wellington: date and venue TBC

If you would like to discuss bringing a Soup Session to your community, please contact us

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ART UNLIMITED entries closing soon

Entries close soon for Art Unlimited, Dunedoo’s annual competition for hanging art, photography and ceramics.

Artists in these three fields must submit entry forms by Thursday 19 April to be eligible to compete for $11,000 worth of prizes on offer.

Works are due for personal delivery on 12 and 13 May, with postal deliveries due prior to 10 May.  The exhibition will be staged at Dunedoo Central School hall from 19 to 27 May, with a ticketed preview reception at 7pm on Friday, 18 May. 

The prize pool includes the $3000 Peabody Wilpinjong Prize for Hanging Art, the $3000 ib vogt Prize for Photography and the $3000 Art Unlimited Ceramics Prize.

Other prizes are Dunedoo Rural Harware People’s Choice Prize of $500, Orana Arts Indigenous Artist Prize of $500, and the Janace Holmes Family Memorial Prize of $250 plus a trophy. ABC Western Plains offers $300 worth of ABC merchandise for the work that best depicts the Western Region.

The Art Unlimited 2018 judging panel consists of acclaimed painter Graham Cox, photographer, graphic designer and educator Jenet Stewart, and Mudgee-based ceramicist Ro Francis.

Full details about Art Unlimited, including entry forms, can be found on the website: www.artunlimitednsw.com.au. Entry fees are $12 for each work submitted and there is a limit of five works per entrant per category.

Tickets for Art Unlimited’s preview evening on 18 May are $35 which include drinks and canapés, with fine wines provided by multi award-winning Mudgee winery, Robert Stein. Bookings are essential. Tickets can be purchased via the Art Unlimited website.

The Art Unlimited exhibition will be open to the public from Saturday 19 May to Sunday 27 May. Entry fee is $5.

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